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To express or not to express

(24 Posts)
buttercup123 Thu 11-Nov-10 10:01:23

This is going to be my first, and I'm trying to work out what I need to buy. I've been told to get an electric breast pump over a manual one - but I just suddenly wondered how useful a breast pump is? Did you all find you expressed milk loads and it was really useful, or did you end up not really bothering?

faverolles Thu 11-Nov-10 10:08:24

I had one when my first was born, and never used it.
A couple of friends have recently had babies, and were advised to use one from the start, to up their supply, but tbh, I just don't understand why they are being advised to faff around, when the best way to get your milk supply up is to feed the baby as often as it wants.
I may be missing some vital point here though!

My fourth is due in January, and I won't be bothering with a pump at all.

japhrimel Thu 11-Nov-10 10:10:50

You're probably better off posting this in the breastfeeding forum as lots of us in here haven't had our babies yet!

I was advised that you don't usually need a pump straight off - only really if your baby is in special care and then the hospital have pumps to borrow.

Otherwise, you don't want to be introducing a bottle until breastfeeding is well established so 4-6 weeks. So you have plenty of time to buy one if you do decide to pump.

Pumping is hard work from what everyone says, so although it's fantastic if you're going back to work or want an evening/day away from baby when it's too soon for your supply to adapt, it's a lot of work if you're just doing it so your OH can do an odd feed. And if you're struggling with breastfeeding and want to continue, it's simpler to persevere and get really good help rather than trying to exclusively express.

I've only got a pump ready because I may have to go back on medications after the birth that would mean stopping breastfeeding earlier than I otherwise would, so I'm hoping to build up a stash in the freezer as soon as I can. I haven't got bottles or anything, just the pump and freezer bags.

japhrimel Thu 11-Nov-10 10:11:40

Ditto to what faverolles said - your baby is more efficient at increasing supply than a pump for sure.

Ineedsomesleep Thu 11-Nov-10 10:38:56

I didn't get a pump or anyelse else to do with feeding before the baby arrived. Thought it was better to see what happened and then get what I needed as I needed it. Afterall, many supermarkets are open 24 hours.

We did get a pump in the end with DC1 because I thought I would pump and leave a bottle for him and go out. I could never pump much, which made me think stupidly that I wasn't producing enough and I really wish I hadn't bothered.

With DC2 I got an Ameda Lactaline secondhand for £10 and it was so much better. Again though in the end I didn't bother much. It is much easier just to take the baby with you and feed it yourself.

Ineedsomesleep Thu 11-Nov-10 10:43:21

Anything else. Sorry.

slimyak Thu 11-Nov-10 10:46:17

I had a manual pump that I used rarely from about 6 weeks so that I could have the occasional second glass of wine or a full nights sleep. But as others have said, the best milk extractor is your baby.

I did find that expressing small ammounts by hand in the first few weeks just to take the pressure out of engorged breasts really helped to get the latch right, ask your midwife. But that was for my comfort rather than to build up a supply. A breast pump is a bit like putting a hoover on your nipple and not a pleasent experience in my experience.

Cies Thu 11-Nov-10 10:48:27

I didn't get a pump, because I didn't want or need to leave ds. In fact the first time I left him was at 7mo when we went to a child free wedding, for which I borrowed a friend's pump.

I hate pumping, and get very little out, so am glad I hadn't spent money on one or set my heart on getting some "time off".

Octaviapink Thu 11-Nov-10 11:02:24

I had an electric pump which was fantastic for supplying bottles for DH to feed DD! I would pump in the morning with her on the other breast (baby stimulates milk production but pumping doesn't, so in an ideal world you need to stimulate a proper let-down.) It was especially handy to have available in the evenings when my supply got very low and she was hungry. I also froze loads so that when I weaned her at 10 months I had enough supply in the freezer so I didn't have to use formula until she could go on to cow's milk.

Couple of tips - don't bother with a manual pump, express in the mornings when your supply is greatest, and definitely make use of baby on the other breast to get a proper amount out. You won't be leaving baby short of milk.

However, you shouldn't start on bottles until breastfeeding's well established (at least three weeks) so it's definitely something you can leave till after the birth and then get on ebay!

Ineedsomesleep Thu 11-Nov-10 11:07:11

Agree with japhrimel, you should have a think about starting this topic again in feeding section as you will probably get more responses.

ricketyrock Thu 11-Nov-10 11:52:35

Don't bother. Concentrate on breastfeeding / eating biscuits etc for a while then see how you feel. I felt compelled to get loads of shit like that to feel organised and I now have loads of shit I don't need. It's much better to start small and get what you need as you go.

buttercup123 Thu 11-Nov-10 13:09:50

Thanks everyone, very useful stuff!

Ineedsomesleep Fri 12-Nov-10 09:27:45

*buttercup123" the other thing I thought was that if I bought too much stuff while I was pregnant I wouldn't be able to take as much time of with my baby. You can end up spending so much on things you just never need.

Mum2Pea Fri 12-Nov-10 11:13:02

It all depends on your milk supply and isn't really a must buy until the baby arrives. Personally I found a electric pump invaluable with DD.
My milk didn’t come in as well as it should have and DD was sucking for hours without achieving much. I did give her formula as a top up but was insistent that I would BF her and was willing to do whatever it too.
So bought an electric pump (had a manual one but was such hard work for very little reward) and latched onto it for a good few hours a day while DD was asleep. This meant
1. I had some milk expressed for her to top up if BF didn’t provide enough but
2. More importantly, my body had mistaken the pump for DD so understood that it needed to produce more milk. Within 10 days I had upped my supply loads and ended up BF til DD was 7 months.

I would say don't buy one for now but be aware that you might need to and they are not cheap. However the electric one is a million times better for the manual and would definitely not skimp on this one area if you realise you do need a pump.

Indaba Fri 12-Nov-10 11:18:22

Wait until baby here and see how you feel. I tried a couple of times and gave up.

Again Fri 12-Nov-10 11:37:02

You can often borrow an electric pump from la leech if you're having problems breastfeeding. I used a manual one for first couple of weeks because ds had issues going back to breast after being fed by bottle in hospital. Once breastfeeding established I never wanted to see the pump again!

HollyBollyBooBoo Fri 12-Nov-10 13:05:28

Great for expressing during day and then DP can give baby atleast one feed during day/night helping them to bond with DC and give you a break.

If you do decide you need a pump to only get an electric one. Manual one is so much hard work (a friend got RSI from using hers and 2 years on is still in pain) as a knackered, sleep deprived Mum you don't need something else that saps your energy and IMO you'll be more likely to give up on using it.

schmee Fri 12-Nov-10 14:19:46

Agree with mum2pea - if you have problems with your supply and/or your baby doesn't feed very well to start with it can be invaluable. You can hire them from Medela in an "industrial" size which makes things a lot quicker. Hopefully you won't need it so you can probably wait for a day or two as you can use the hospital ones to start with.

1Catherine1 Fri 12-Nov-10 17:09:22

My baby isn't due till March but I have bought one already (it was on sale at half price and I hate to miss a bargain). I want to do at least 6 months of bf and since I have to start back at work before 5 months I'm anticipating needing one. I'm also hoping the bargain hunter inside me will stop me giving up before that mark because I do hate to buy something and then never need it.

pinkyp Fri 12-Nov-10 18:45:17

Just get a manual one, if you do use it alot then you can always buy an electric one,i love my maual one - but i didnt express everyday (although most days) so it was perfect for me.

expectingno3 Fri 12-Nov-10 20:48:26

I had a manual one and used it from about 3 months to build up a supply of milk to mix with the baby's first food (baby rice) which I stored in little sachets in the freezer. It was quite a production line! This went on until baby progressed to more substantial pureed food. It then became a bit reduntant as I never managed to express enough to fill a bottle to use at night or for her Dad to give to her, anyway. I'd only get an electric one if you are intending to return to work or need to produce enough to fill proper bottles for combined feeding. And I always used it at the same time as feeding - you get the knack of it in the end!

Ineedsomesleep Sat 13-Nov-10 08:26:25

If think you are having problems with your supply, which is unlikely, I'd read this on is my baby getting enough milk and increasing low milk supply and talk to a bfing counsellor before I bought a pump and started expressing as the bfing counsellor may have some better tips for you.

CluckyKate Sat 13-Nov-10 18:06:50

Agree with some of the others in that you won't need a breast pump immediately. Whether you need one once BFing is established depends on you, your routine and your lifestyle.

I used a pump & found it to be brilliant on a number of counts:

1. It meant that DH could do the 11 o'clockish feed while I went to be early - great for father/daughter bonding IMO and meant I got a good 6 hour block of sleep before the middle-of-the-night feed.

2. I have a very active life - skiing, horses etc. and expressing meant that I didn't need to be with DD every minute of the day & got to enjoy some fabulous me-time.

3. I was able to go away for a girlie weekend whitout DD and able to keep her exclusively on breast milk....missed her like crazy though.

If you are able to BF and decide expressing is right for you I can highly recommend the Medela Swing pump which mimics the let-down process. I was always able to express plenty, regardless of the time of day - supply shortage was not an issue for me! They also fetch a good price on eBay so you will be able to sell it on for not a lot less than the Amazon price.

jjkm Sat 13-Nov-10 18:54:24

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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